Our office was formally founded in 1997, but it has an incredible history with roots going back to Budapest a century ago. That was the time when a young ambitious man from a merchant family, Robi Sich, decided to become an ophthalmologist. In the early 20th century, about half of the Hungarian doctors were Jewish, but emigration, occurring in waves, quickly reduced that number. One of these waves brought Robi to America.
LIFE IN IMMIGRATION
In the early 20th century, about half of the Hungarian doctors were Jewish, but emigration, occurring in waves, quickly reduced that number. One of these waves brought Robi and his family to America. The young Hungarian doctor, by then already known as Robert Sich instead of Robi, eventually settled in Los Angeles. At that time, here in Los Angeles, charming streetcars were rolling throughout the town just as in his native Budapest, oil was being drilled in one of the best-known oil fields in the region, the La Brea field, Studio City was home to thriving farms, and Beverly Hills was a far cry from what it is today.
KOREAN WAR HERO
Like many Jewish immigrants from Europe, Robert Sich was a passionate person, and he soon founded his own practice, achieved recognition and successfully treated Californians for decades. In 1965, a young doctor, Joseph Robins, moved to Los Angeles with three children and an Italian wife. By that time, Joseph Robins had not only served as a nurse in the Korean War, but also completed a residency in Eye-Ear-Throat-Nose in Chicago. Back then (and until the 1970s), there was no distinction between an ophthalmologist and an ENT doctor in America.
The same year, Robert Sich, a distinguished senior gentleman, sold his state-famous practice to Dr. Robins, shortly after which Arthur Benjamin was born in Tashkent, the capital of Soviet Uzbekistan. The success of Joseph Robins was no less than Robert Sich's, although it required less effort back then.
TO TREAT OR TO PLAY, THAT IS THE QUESTION
During the week, Joseph performed 2-3 surgeries (mainly cataract surgeries and plastic procedures, as well as removal of wax plugs from the ears). He had a day off on Wednesdays since that is a sacred time for golf . Gold Wednesdays were very common for many doctors in America back then, so patients who got sick on Wednesday were very unlucky. However, Joseph's real passion was still ophthalmology, and he soon became renowned as a top eye doctor in the city.
KINDERGARTEN – UNIVERSITY – LOS ANGELES
Meanwhile, Arthur Benjamin went to a kindergarten in Tashkent, where he later studied in high school, immigrated with his parents and brother to New York, graduated from high school, entered Cornell University, then Duke University School of Medicine, after which his destiny brought him to settle down in Los Angeles.
Here in Los Angeles, Arthur completed his residency and was doing a lot of thinking about his future. On the one hand, he was advised to return home to New York, where all his family and friends lived. On the other hand, he was offered a career opportunity in the latest retinal research. However, by chance, Arthur Benjamin met Joseph Robins, who was just about to retire. The office of Joseph captivated Arthur from the moment he walked in. Arthur Benjamin made a business proposal without any hesitation.
The nephew of Dr. Robins, who had just completed his residency, turned out to be one of the competitors in the purchase, and Arthur's chances seemed to be dwindling rapidly. The old doctor, however, wasn't so sure, even though the nephew rashly offered a larger amount (and even though he is t h e nephew).
Despite the involvement of emotions, Robert Sich considered both candidates objectively. And after much thought, he came to the conclusion that Arthur Benjamin is the right successor, because only he would keep the reputation of the office at the proper level. One of the key factors in the decision was, most likely, the idea of who would take care of Dr. Robins’s devoted patients
LEGENDARY CARD FILE
As the new doctor entered the practice with all his innovations, he was pleasantly surprised by Joseph's detailed filing cabinet. Up to 80 visits were recorded on each 4" x 6" cardboard index card. They would write, let’s say, "Date: conjunctivitis, medication" Or "Date: myopia, eyeglass prescription". There was a whole life of the patient right there. Furthermore, Joseph remembered everyone's faces.
ADIEU, GOLF WEDNESDAYS
Sacred Wednesday was no exception for the young ophthalmologist Arthur Benjamin, who saw 10-15 patients a day. Among others, Dr Arthur Benjamin still treated 80-90-year-old patients who Robert Sich treated as children in 1914. Therefore, Arthur still feels like a descendant of a more than a century-old lineage.
WHAT WOULD THEY SAY?
Sometimes Dr. Benjamin is wondering how the Austro-Hungarian native Robert Sich and the Korean War veteran Joseph Robins would feel if they even had a glimpse of the ultra-modern LASIK suite at the present-day Benjamin Eye Institute, its electronic cloud record storage and phenomenal equipment. What would they say if they heard the term Laser Vision Correction? Robert would hardly have understood, but Joseph would have asked for more details. What if they saw the testimonials of those who now have previously unheard-of 20/10 vision? And read the reviews of elderly patients whose vision has become better than in their youth? However, the Benjamin Eye Institute never rests on its laurels. We're just getting started!